Training for the long haul


I used to train Brazilian jiu-jitsu alongside a nutritionist—someone who prided himself on his own fitness. Our instructor was a tough man—but famously uninterested in conventional exercise. One day, the nutritionist challenged him. “Let’s do a decathlon to prove who’s fittest. We’ll do a bunch of events. We can bike, run, swim, and climb…” And then, in a fit of hubris, he added, “We can even have a jiu-jitsu event!” The instructor paused for a moment and then growled, “Jiu-jitsu first.”


The moral of this story is that it’s hard to run on a broken femur. Athletic options are reduced by injury. Sometimes permanently.


Everything has a risk-to-reward ratio. Risk management begins with exercise selection and volume. You can get a great workout free-climbing El Capitan, for example. Or by fist-fighting a hammerhead shark. But there are safer ways to do things. The goal is maximum benefit with minimum risk. It is measured by consistency over a lifetime instead of performance in the short-term. Life isn’t a sprint. It’s a series of marathons punctuated by unpredictable—and sometimes bizarre—events.


A good risk-to-reward ratio will not exceed—or interrupt—your ability to recover. Tissue healing takes time. Minor insults—like sprains and strains—can heal in less than a week. More serious injuries can take months. There are hard limits to tissue repair. Variability largely comes down to quality of recovery. So, movement choices are important. We need some movement optimism.


Movement optimism is based in therapeutic best practices but—at its heart—is the perspective that pain isn’t something that you need to fear. Nor is it something you need to hard-ass your way through. Rather it is a collection of signals that you can respond to with curiosity and creativity. Watch this video to learn more.


Bang Personal Training offers some of the best personal training in Toronto – in a format that makes consistency easy. Our expert coaches unite the best features of group and one-on-one training to help you build performance and healthspan